Today is the Lunar New Year, the start of the Year of the Rabbit. Children's author and illustrator Grace Lin has written a blog post on how this year should differ from last year, the Year of the Tiger. She explains:

The Tiger Year should have been an energetic one—full of upheavals and tribulations. Rabbits are gentle creatures, peace-loving and restful. They are also rather introspective and introverted. So, this is the year to recharge and focus on your home, family and personal goals.

If your recharging routine includes reading with your kids, on this day I'd especially recommend Lin's Year of the Dog, which was published just in time for the Chinese New Year of 2006. This autobiographical middle grade novel begins on the first day of the Chinese New Year and follows a year in the life of a young Taiwanese-American girl. [Read an interview with Lin about Year of the Dog.] Lin also wrote a sequel titled Year of the Rat.

For those wanting to prepare a special meal (and it doesn't have to be tonight, either, as the Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days!), look to Kylie Kwong's Simple Chinese Cooking or Yan-Kit's Classic Chinese Cookbook by Yan-Kit So.

Do you have a favorite book to read in celebration of the Lunar New Year?

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